Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

Emmanuel Macron scrambles to defend record with bizarre PR stunt ‘He’s in dire straits’

France: Expert discusses Macron’s statement as lockdown eases

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French President Emmanuel Macron told the French public “we did this” during a bizarre PR stunt as cafes and restaurants re-opened across France. A journalist analysing the President’s language said he was “quick” to praise the French population in what she deemed as an “unusual” outing as it is “not very often” that a president would do that. His comments come as France begins to emerge from the third wave of coronavirus which swept through the country in March and April, sending the nation into a third lockdown.

On Wednesday, cafes and restaurants were allowed to serve customers in outside areas and the evening curfew was pushed back from 7pm to 9pm.

Speaking to France24, Catherine Field, Europe Correspondent for New Zealand’s NZME news organisation, aired her thoughts on the President’s choice of words during his outing earlier in the week.

She said: “When you heard Emmanuel Macron, the French President having his coffee, he was very quick to praise the French people.”

Ms Field highlighted how Mr Macron said “‘WE did this, it was us’.”

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She went on to explain: “And it’s not very often that you have a French President who comes out of his wonderful palace to talk about what ‘WE’ did as a nation.

“Showing humility and showing that he is going to have to carry the population with him and thank the population!”

But another reporter chimed in jokingly, saying he only said such words because “he is in dire straits as well, politically!”

Another reporter on the panel, Alvaro Sierra, said the move was “a really good piece of PR” for President Macron.

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On Thursday, French officials urged citizens not to become too relaxed about the covid rules after hundreds of citizens across France threw street parties late into the night on Wednesday.

And in video footage posted on social media, a large crowd of people can be seen dancing around a bonfire in the city of Rennes after the 9pm curfew began on Wednesday evening.

Police in riot gear moved in to disperse the crowd, according to French TV.

And similar scenes played out in Bordeaux where youngsters partied and drank until 11pm on Wednesday night as the French got their first taste of freedom in months.

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Responding to the chaotic scenes, French Prime Minister Jean Castex urged the French to show “collective discipline” and to respect the “rules that are still in place.”

During the peak of the devastating third coronavirus wave in France, one person was being admitted to intensive care every 12 minutes.

France has recorded 108,000 deaths from Covid.

Over nine million French citizens have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 but that only accounts to 14.1 percent of the population, compared to the UK where 31.9% have been fully jabbed.

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